Many moms, whether they are stay-at-home or at work, need to get a lot of things done, period. So, yes, it is challenging to find time to just enjoy your baby without "distractions" (doing the laundry alone is easily half a day's work). But we also know that quality time with your baby is crucial.
As Casey Lew-Williams, Ph.D., co-director of the Baby Lab at Princeton University, points out, “Healthy neural development is sculpted by high-quality interactions and play. And infancy is the time to help the best connections form.”
Mindful parenting doesn't mean clearing your day's schedule. Sometimes to connect with your baby, all it takes is a tweak in your daily routine.
Before you leave for work Create a morning ritual with your baby before you go for work. It doesn’t have to be complicated. Allot 10 minutes to spend quiet time with each other. Then have a short and sweet farewell: a goodbye kiss, a warm hug, and a smiling reassurance that you'll come back soon enough.
A consistent morning goodbye ritual will also help a baby going through separation anxiety (around 6 to 18 months old). It helps build trust and reassurance as your child comes to expect that you'll be leaving after he gets his kiss and come back later in the day.
While doing the laundry “If you’re folding laundry next to your munchkin, you can talk to her about what you’re doing and even offer her a soft, clean washcloth to explore. Fabrics and textures are incredibly interesting to babies,” Michele Borba, Ed.D, an internationally renowned educator recognized for her parenting strategies, told Fit Pregnancy and Baby Magazine.
While in the kitchen If you’re prepping ingredients like peeling potatoes or forming meatballs, prop your child next to you in his high chair so he can see what you’re doing. Just make sure nothing dangerous such as knives and the stove is within his reach.
Give him a few kitchen “tools” of his own too. It can include a set of measuring cups and spoons, a mixing bowl, and even a few baby snacks he can munch on. He can watch you as you work, play with his own kitchen tools, and copy you as you give directions out loud like, “Now, we mix, mix, and mix!”
While bathing your baby Pick a time in the day when you and your baby feel relaxed but also ready to have a bit of fun. Try to enjoy the moment and not rush it. Lather up the shampoo and place a small mountain of bubbles in your little one’s hands. Take some bath toys with you, even something as simple as colorful plastic cups or different sized sponges can be fun for your baby.
Before going to sleep Leave your worries behind for another day and spend a few quiet moments with baby. A regular bedtime routine creates an excellent opportunity to bond, and the consistency lets your baby know that it’s time for bed.
Dr. Agnes Tirona-Remulla, head of the Sleep Lab at Asian Hospital and Medical Center, says a bedtime routine should have more than one activity and starts with the most energetic activity and ends with the most calming. It can start with the both of you snuggling up to read a book, then you can sing her a lullaby, and, with her eyes beginning to droop, finally give her a goodnight kiss.